Thursday, 5 August 2021

Basking in the Sunshine

 I've been trying to get out and about with Katy in the good weather, partially to give her a good shakedown after all the work and partially to get some exercise and take some pictures now the lockdowns seem over (and just in case they come back) 

This was the week that it was scorching hot and I really enjoyed the fact that the beer was being kept cool just by the power of the sun i.e. by the solar panel setup. 

It lasted well for three days (after an initial cooling at home) and the leisure battery seemed still to have a good charge in it because the victron app reported it as fully charged when I looked at it when I got home

So here we are at Cae Glas campsite which is a lovely site in the upper Swansea valley with Cribarth (one if the hills I climbed that week) in the background

What I did realise was that I had forgotten to fit the USB charging point running from the leisure battery so that was remedied before this two day trip a couple of weeks later to the other end of the Brecon Beacons which has Pen Cerrig Calch (another hill I climbed) in the background

All in all about 40 miles and nearly 9000 ft climbed in hot weather (on foot). I'm hoping that my bodywork will be as improved as Katy's if I can keep this up

Sunday, 11 July 2021

Summer in Somerset

 Shakedown cruise 1 left us with a few jobs. Most of them have been resolved and it was time for another trip away to see how we are going and to look into some history 

We selected Southfork Caravan site (mind you they do tents as well) which turned out to be a very pleasant place to stay with nice level pitches and clean and tidy facilities so it made a very nice base for the adventures. 

This is in the area of the Somerset levels and if you want to get a decent picture then you need to get a bit of height to take it from which is quite easy when you have a good ladder on the back and the roof-rack to sit on.

It's also the type of rural locations where you find a few friends to park up next to. This quick stop in a farm shop turned into a full tour of the barn to look at the Morris traveller, Morris Minor, Ford Prefect, Fordson tractors, Lister stationary engines and much more. The steak pies and lemon drizzle cake we went in for were just as nice as the selection of cars

We were actually hunting down some family history which meant a lot of visits to local churches which like this one from Martock, were often made of this lovely creamy limestone 

So we went to Ham Hill to see the quarries that it came from 

Up close (take extreme care near cliffs!) you can see the cut marks where it was taken out of the quarry to be used

It was not just used in churches it was also used in Montacute House and the surrounding villages so here we are admiring some of them Rhian says that she finally knows which stone the "Light Stone" paint that we have used on Katy is meant to camouflage her from

No more jobs to add to the list... just to complete the ones we already know about

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Interior decor

 The boss said that the interior was now letting the improved exterior down 

So... all the doors came off, the cupboards were refurbished with some new interior woodwork where needed and everything was given a few coats of nice white and blue paint 

It does look a lot better I am sure that you will agree

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Shakedown Cruise and ablutions

After all the work of the last year it was time for a socially distanced shakedown cruise.

We decided to meet up with a friend at a campsite that was about equal distance for both of is in Llangattock, South Wales and as we were unsure of the state that the facilities were in we determined to be as self sufficient as possible (mind you we did opt for an electric hook-up) 

So we filled the water tank and pre-cooled the fridge and loaded up for what ended up being a fabulous weekend of weather. We also packed in our freestanding gazebo so we had shelter had the weather changed. In the end that was more useful as a sunsheltet

So here we are all setup and with the gazebo in the background. This grey sky as we setup was the last we were going to see of cloud for the weekend which was wonderful 

Because we were unsure of the facilities because we expected to find the campsite rammed we obtained a couple of options should we not want to use them 

The simplest if this Toilet in a Bag. Open, use, seal, dispose is the idea. 

The second is this folding Pett Toilet which closes to a convenient storage size

But opens to a nice "useable" height

and can be then used with a pack that turns the waste to gel for disposal 

In the end the facilities were clean and tidy and we were very happy to use them but we are very happy with the purchase and especially with the supplier who were incredibly helpful in sorting out an issue that happened in delivery. It's always nice to deal with a great supplier and I am happy to give them a recommendation should anyone be considering a purchase 

In the end we did find a few issues on our shakedown cruise 

  1. Temperature gage was not working - turned out to be a loose connection - fixed
  2. Problems with the leisure electrics and rear view camera - turned out to be a bad connection - fixed
  3. Speedo cable is still sticking even after oiling it causing the dial to wobble 
  4. Still seems to be a minor oil leak - not from what I have already worked on I need to find it to fix it
  5. The biggest problem was that we had a significant leak from the camping water system it seems to be related either to the water heater (which we never use so I have bypassed for now) or from the tap which always leaks anyway. I have decided to replace the whale taps with something that is hopefully better 
Time to get ready for the next trip

Monday, 17 May 2021

Thanks to SteveParkers.Com for helping

Hmmm Having problems ...  

Here are some pictures for the really great team at who are helping me solve a mystery 

This is the old oil cooler pipe lined up with the edge of the machine

A bit closer in 

And the other end showing a length to the corner of about 77cm 

Putting the other one I bought from another supplier you can see that when the one end is at the same point the other is a lot shorter

About 8 cm shorter... 

Monday, 10 May 2021

Le Rouge et le Noir (The Red and the Black)

OK it's actually pink and black. It's the colours of the two fluids that are coming from the area just inside the drivers side front wheel 

The first is power steering fluid and is coming from this which is the Adwest Steering box which I have just removed. 

There are a couple of things to note when doing this (which I learned the hard way) which are that the bolts holding the steering column in need to be fully removed in order to get that our and have room to manoeuvre this out, and the pipes on the top are most easily removed with a Crow Foot socket (something I had never used before). After that it's just a job of removing the bolts holding it in and separating the ball joint on the drop arm with a splitter... 

Copious amounts of the pink stuff are released when you take the pipes off so I'm glad not to have done this on the new drive at home 

The black is coming from this which is the oil cooler pipe leading to the oil cooler built into the radiator. It's a simple replacement item if you don't drop the O ring and have to scramble on the floor to find it

So back to the power steering box. It needed quite some effort to get the first part of it apart, and even more of the pink to pour out. Some corrosion where the seal has let some moisture in so it's needed some time with emery paper.

If you look on the left where the round seal is you will see a couple of marks we put on regarding where it is before we take it apart. We're doing this on all the sections as we go 

Something that I have noted again is how useless the Haynes and the Workshop manual both are when it comes to this type of job. There is simply not enough detail in them to see how anything is put together and is therefore taken apart. The best document for this (as has been for almost all the work done in 2020) has been the Defender Parts Catalogue a copy of which I have made available via the link (Warning if you are on limited data this is a 28Mb file!) 

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Success !

 After all the trouble that the relatives of this little chap have caused it's time for some good news

BTW this is Cedric the Covid. He's not really dangerous because he's made out of wool if you had not guessed!

This is Katy sitting outside the MOT station waiting for the test.

And this is her at home having passed! :)

Given how much of her has been apart in the last few months and how much effort it has been to put her back together I have to admit being a little nervous that the tester would spot something I had missed. So I was really pleased to get a pass certificate with just one minor advise on an item that had not been part of this work. 

As always a few minor things have been spotted after the shakedown cruise to home so she's actually going to stay up at the workshop for a short time longer whilst I do those (one of the minor points was a weeping oil cooler pipe) and then she will be properly home and allowed on the new drive and hopefully not drop any fluids on the new blockwork